Spider anatomy for artists

Fall is here and it is time to draw spiders. In this season female spiders have reached their full size and are ready to mate. Their webs are easily seen in the morning dew. Understanding how the body is put together will help you draw what you see with greater ease. As in insects, the body

How to draw a dragonfly: Flame Skimmer

Learn how to draw the transparent wings of a dragonfly in this step-by-step demonstration. Drawing glossy transparent wings is challenging. By using this bag of tricks you will be able to suggest transparency in your drawings. Here are points to consider. Lines should be lighter when seen through the transparent membrane. Use less detail on

Drawing foreshortened insects: Seven-spotted Ladybug

Learn how to draw a foreshortened ladybug in a step-by-step demonstration. Drawing insects from the top view is useful for identification but may lack dynamic interest. Three quarter views of insects show the height and form in ways you can not show from above. Visualizing the way that straight lines wrap around rounded forms is

How do straight lines curve on a rounded surface?

Straight lines appear to curve on a rounded surface. Practice seeing and drawing these lines will greatly improve your ability to draw what you see. Print out the latitude and longitude lines in the figure at the right. Trace over these lines about ten times then draw them free hand. As you trace, do not just

How to Draw Insects (video workshop)

Insects are a delight to study and observe. Learn the basics of insect illustration in this video workshop. This workshop introduces you to the basics of how to draw insects including anatomy, the most common mistakes made by artists drawing insects, the eight most common orders of insects, and details to watch for as you

How to Draw Insects: Understanding and Drawing the Legs (part 2)

The most common mistake people make in insect drawings. [B]efore you read any further, stop and choose which one of these two beetles has the correct leg attachment. Don’t feel badly if you guess this one wrong. It is a very common mistake. This is where a little knowledge gets us into trouble. We know that the

How to Draw Insects: Understanding and Drawing the Legs (part 1)

One of the hardest things about how to draw insects is getting the legs right. This is a place where a little bit of study in advance will really pay off. But this is also a place where a little bit of information can get you into trouble. A careful analysis of insect leg anatomy

How to draw insects: shiny vs. dull textures

Capturing the roundness and sheen of insect bodies is an important part of learning how to draw insects. The secret is in the amount of contrast between light and dark and the abruptness of transition between highlight and shadow. Here we explore how to draw an insect that looks rounded but dull and what to change

How to draw insects: Iridescence

Many insects have nano-scale layers in their wings and bodies that refract and reflect iridescent light. You will observe vivid colors that change color as you move your viewing angle or the light source. Areas that do not reflect iridescent light drop suddenly to black with little transition. You can simulate these effects in your drawings